John's Journal...

How to Vertical Jig for Winter Bass

Day 4: Fishing the Plastic Worm and the Flutter Spoon for Bass in the Winter

Editor’s Note: Wintertime bassing can be some of the best bassing of the year, if the outdoorsman knows three-important ingredients for successful bass fishing – where the bass are holding during the cold months, how to locate these bass with a depth finder, and how to catch them.

The Plastic Worm:
Click for Larger ViewFor the sportsmen who are reluctant to let that heavy bait with those hooks down in the trees, don’t forget the plastic worm. Oftentimes when you find bass concentrated in deep treetops and timber, and they won’t take a spoon, you can drop a Texas-rigged plastic worm on top of them to get the bass’s attention. Click for Larger ViewOne technique that Rich Tauber, well-known bass-fishing guide at Lake Casitas in California has used to catch wintertime bass, especially in deep, clear lakes is what he calls shaking. “When the bass won’t hit the spoon, I lower a 4- to a 6-inch plastic worm down to the depth where the bass are holding,” Tauber explains. “Then I shake the lure. I don’t want the bait to hop. I just want it to quiver until the bass takes it. I keep the bait at the same level, shake it and use my trolling motor to move around through the school of bass. For some reason, when bass won’t take any other bait in the winter, they will bite this shaking worm.”

The Flutter Spoon:
Another type of spoon that’s particularly effective in the wintertime in highland lakes with clear water and little or no structure in them is a flutter-type spoon. The flutter spoon can be cast-out or let-down and then it will flutter all the way to the bottom. Unless an angler has a very-sensitive rod, knows the depth of the water and can feel his spoon as it falls, the flutter spoon can be a nightmare to fish. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the bass will hit the flutter spoon on the fall, when the line’s slack. Therefore, a sportsman must set the hook quickly and often will miss as many bass – if not more bass – than he catches. Click for Larger ViewBut I’ve fished the flutter spoon in some rivers with no structure when the bass have been schooled-up on old drop-offs and have had bass hit the spoon just about every time it goes to the bottom.

If I fail to get a bass just as the spoon flutters down, once the bait’s on the bottom, I’ll rip the lure up and expect a strike when the bait falls back. Never fish the flutter spoon in treetops or heavy cover. That’s a quick way to lose your sanity, while trying to get the flutter spoon loose from the structure and breaking it off. But if you begin taking bass while using the flutter spoon and know you’re in heavy cover, immediately change over to the heavy jigging spoon, so you won’t be as likely to stay hung-up all day.

Tomorrow: What Tackle and Equipment to Use for Wintertime Bassing with Paul Elias

Check back each day this week for more about "Catch Crappie Now in February, But Watch the Weather with John E. Phillips "

Day 1: Locate Schools of Baitfish to Find Wintertime Bass and Deep Drops on Points with Paul Elias
Day 2: How to Locate Wintertime Bass with a Depth Finder and Denny Brauer on Jigs
Day 3: How to Catch Wintertime Bass with the Jigging Spoon with Bass Pro Paul Elias
Day 4: Fishing the Plastic Worm and the Flutter Spoon for Bass in the Winter
Day 5: What Tackle and Equipment to Use for Wintertime Bassing with Paul Elias


Entry 601, Day 4